Ratnakant Ramnathkar of Goa was born circa 1908. By the time he was in his teens he had distinguished himself as a harmonium player. He relocated to Mumbai in the 1920s and served on the staff of AIR Bombay for almost 4 decades. He took training in vocal music from Nanne Khan but the credit for shaping Ramnathkar’s musical education and personality goes to Agrawale Vilayat Hussain Khan (“Pranpiya”). From Pranpiya he imbibed the intricacies of Khayal and Dhrupad-Dhamar, and inherited a large stock of Ragas and compositions. Ramnathkar also had the benefit of instruction from Faiyyaz Khan as well as fellow Goan “Layabhaskar” Khaprumama Parvatkar.
Ratnakant Ramnathkar was a wide-ranging and highly gifted musician. He had a yen for playing instruments, in particular the Jalatarang and the Tabla. He was also a skilled composer. Some of his compositions have been collected and published by the Goa Kala Academy in a book entitled “Premrang” (Ramnathkar’s colophon).
In 1972, Ratnakant-bab returned to Goa and assumed the task of heading the Hindustani vocal division of the newly-formed Kala Academy. Along with his colleague, the Tabla vidwan Taranath Rao, a vigorous and active atmosphere of high quality instruction and learning was quickly established. Ratnakant-bab had the mien and make of a serious and deep scholar and never quite made it big as a popular performing musician.
Ratnakant Ramnathkar passed away on July 28, 1981.